A little over a year ago, I decided I wanted to move up a level in Half Fanatics. Much like when I randomly announced I wanted to run a marathon, not a lot of thought went into the decision. Apparently, I’m much more of a jump first, figure it out later kind of girl than I realized. Surprisingly, Beer Geek was totally on board with my idea. (I think he just really wanted me to do another 5 half marathons in 5 days and didn’t realize what he was getting in to.)
I knew I’d kick off the fun with RNR USA. I hadn’t run it in a few years and knew that it was exactly 78 days from ZOOMA Annapolis. Boom! Start and finish settled.
Since we’d already established that I would spend spring break running the Riverboat Series, that was another 5 settled from day 1. Add in the Frederick Running Festival that I’ve fallen in love with and I had 8 of the 13 races decided upon almost immediately.
It would be easy to find the other 5, right? Turns out it was a little more difficult than I thought.
But I did it.
There were a few crazy early mornings to get to races. There were a few unplanned expenses (Nike, ouch, and a hotel when I decided to race in Delaware). There were a few post race desperate attempts to get to what ever else I needed to be at. There were soccer games missed, parties not attended, chores undone.
For the first time since we had kids, *I* was my priority this spring. Getting my races in trumped nearly everything. I am so appreciative of all the times Beer Geek held down the fort while I ran off to a race. And I can never thank “my village” enough for being the second parent when kids needed to go in two different directions at the same time.
I don’t regret doing this. I’m proud of myself for setting a goal (as arbitrary as it might have been) and making it happen. I challenged my body and my mind and I succeeded.
But I’m thankful I’m done. And I’m not ready to set any more big goals for the moment. So hang with me as I do some warm weather running and get in some fun travel and a couple of new half marathon states/countries.
‘Cause I’m sure that one night after a few drinks, I’ll come up with a new crazy goal and the adventures will begin again!
Venus by the numbers (mostly because I want the info all in one place…)
March 15, 2014 – Rock ‘n’ Roll USA (DC)
March 23, 2014 – Caesar Rodney Half (DE)
April 4, 2014 – Charlottesville Half Marathon (VA)
April 12, 2014 – Mainly Marathons (KY)
April 13, 2014 – Mainly Marathons (TN)
April 14, 2014 – Mainly Marathons (AR)
April 15, 2014 – Mainly Marathons (MS)
April 16, 2014 – Mainly Marathons (LA)
April 27, 2014 – Nike (DC)
May 4, 2014 – Frederick Running Festival (MD)
May 18, 2014 – Marine Corps Historic Half (VA)
May 25, 2014 – Alexandria Running Festival (VA)
May 31, 2014 – ZOOMA half marathon (MD)
Favorite half – Frederick Running Festival (ZOOMA was a close second, but it’s always warmer when ZOOMA happens.)
Least favorite half – Alexandria Running Festival
Fastest half – Frederick Running Festival – This course just really works for me! It was my fastest half in 2013 as well.
Slowest half – Mainly Marathons – Kentucky – The combination of heat, hills, and a wet trail just pretty much sucked. This was the only race I was worried I might not finish.
Best Medal – ZOOMA Annapolis (Nike is cool in a totally different way.)
Worst Medal – Alexandria Running Festival
Hilliest – Pretty much all of them. Seriously, if you ever hear I’m signed up for a race, I can guarantee you that there will be at least one AWFUL hill if not an entire course of them. I’ve never ever run a “flat and fast” course… (To be honest, I think Arkansas was not hilly, but it was pouring rain, so that made up for it. LOL)
Most memorable moments:
- Being greeted at the finish line of RNR USA by one of my MRTT mommas
- Running past Beta Bridge and other old college haunts in Charlottesville
- Kim and Beer Geek getting me through the last lap in Kentucky
- Running in water up to my shins with lightning and thunder in Arkansas
- Finishing my 5th half marathon in 5 days faster than the other four half marathons in the series
- Blowing my recent PR out of the water at Frederick
- Crying at the finish line at ZOOMA as I realized that I’d really done it!
The medals I earned:
The shirts that will never be worn (I’m having them turned into a quilt):
The swag I either bought or was given that I intend to use regularly:
A huge shout out to Altra Running for the pair of shoes that they gave the ZOOMA ambassadors. Those shoes, plus a couple of pairs I bought myself, carried me through 12 of the 13 half marathons. I don’t think my feet would have survived without them! Also, as I mentioned yesterday, I ran 12 of the 13 in my Skirt Sports Happy Girl skirts. No chafing and no issues for all those many miles!
And finally, thank you to you all. I appreciate the virtual support and the in person support that readers and friends provided me on this journey. It would not have been half ;o) the fun it was, if it weren’t for the people who shared the journey with me.
18 thoughts on “Journey to Venus”
Wow, such an impressive journey! Congrats on meeting the goal and definitely enjoy a bit of rest. Sounds like you deserve it 🙂 Thanks for the race re-caps because it definitely helps out when trying to think about what races I might do in the future. Frederick is on my list as a lot of people have spoken highly about it.
So amazing! You should be proud (and tired.)
I feel the same about Alexandria’s race and medal, but the shirt is nifty (and red this year again, too!)
The rain I watched you guys run in in Arkansas is definitely equal to a hilly course. As I ran in that rain in Kansas two weeks later, I suddenly had compassion for ya’ll.
I’m toasting you with my Gatorade this morning! It has been a delight following you (and running a few with you) on this adventure
ahhhhhh. i’m just so so so excited that i now get to call you my friend after finally meeting in annapolis. i love how you just kinda randomly decided to do this and then rocked it. love it, friend!
Yay! It is good to put yourself first once in a while. I think many of my big life decisions have come from getting a bee in my bonnet and plunging ahead without over-thinking!
You freaking rock! I would like to do something like this eventually, but it’s going to be a while. Was scheduling the hardest part or was it the actual mileage? Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!
congratulations! Really quite impressive-I don’t know how you log so many miles and look happy about it! What are you doing for an encore??
That is such an amazing goal that you accomplished. I also liked how you said that for the first time in years, this goal did put you first. Moms hardly ever do! Sure missing a few games here and there wasn’t fun but you still accomplished something amazing that I’m sure your kids can definitely brag about!
Congrats from HF 3851! That’s amazing; I’m still stuck on the first moon. I’m laughing at your “about me” section. Strike beer and replace with margaritas and I think we are the same person. 😉 Thanks for linking-up with Tuesdays on the Run!
You need to come do Gold Coast half marathon if you want flat and fast. Or the Sunshine Coast one where there’s only one hill – right at the beginning – and the rest is dead flat.
So amazing!!! I loved following along with your journey!
Can’t wait to see what your next big goal will be!!
I continue to be completely amazed by your half marathon journey! Looking at all those medals and swag in one location must make you feel so proud of what you accomplished in such a short amount of time!
Wow! I’m in HF, but just the basic level so far! That is quite an accomplishment and Good For You for putting yourself first for a season. As a mom, it can be really hard but so important to do that. Glad you liked your Altras, I just love my Torins! Best shoes ever! Thanks for linking up with us on our first Tuesdays on the Run!
Wow! What an amazing and impressive journey. I love the idea of turning the shirts into a quilt.
I SO love this post. You couldn’t be more inspiring!! Let me know if you’d be interested in being featured in my Motivate Me Monday series. You can check out the button on my sidebar. I’d love to link to your blog so my readers can meet you. You can email me at sweatismysanity at gmail dot com. I’m starting up the series again, and scheduling bloggers. Thanks, Jess
Wow! Fantastic. I love that 5-medal chain with the different states. You could put up all your state medals on a state map up on the wall!?! Cuz you’re a preschool teacher? I don’t know. That’s where my mind is at these days! Congrats!
(((BOWS IN AWE))))
Wow! You are one serious runner lady! Congrats on all you’ve accomplished!